Mardi Gras is back at Universal Orlando, though it looks a little different in the age of COVID-19.

There are still plenty of beads, but no more parade, replaced by having stationary floats throughout the park. Universal also added several food options for 2021 while spreading booths out throughout the park.

Entering CityWalk on Feb. 6 (Theme Park Tribune)

Considering this was the first day of a popular seasonal event, crowds were not overwhelming. The stationary floats may have prevented typical parade crowds, but guests did gathering around the floats once the beads started flying. Still, it wasn’t as bad as gatherings you’ll regularly see in Hogsmeade near Hagrid’s Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure.

Crowds around Mardi Gras floats (Theme Park Tribune)

The food selection at Mardi Gras this year resembles something closer to Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, offering more variety than the typical Cajun-style fare.

Rather than being confined to Universal Studios Florida’s New York section, food stands are spread throughout the park, offering styles ranging from Italian to Spanish to Caribbean cuisine. Of course, those Cajun classics are still available, they’re just no longer the star of the show.

The Spanish booth offered a seafood paella with mussels, squid and sausage (Theme Park Tribune)

Italian rainbow cookies matched the Mardis Gras theme (Theme Park Tribune)

The Cuba booth offers a traditional Cubano sandwich and plantain chips (Theme Park Tribune)

You can find Mardi Gras decorations throughout the park, as well as the Mardi Gras Tribute Store, which is in the same location as similar stores set up for Halloween Horror Nights and the holiday season.

Mardi Gras Tribute Store (Theme Park Tribune)

Seating and several Cajun food options around Music Plaza Stage (Theme Park Tribune)

The King and Queen look over park guests (Theme Park Tribune)

Near the Spanish food booth sits this oversized Mardi Gras mask (Theme Park Tribune)

A float near Fear Factor Live (Theme Park Tribune)

Mardi Gras will run at Universal Studios Florida through March 28.

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Blue Man Group departure leaves Universal Studios Florida with expansion space
California theme parks still a long way from reopening — even by the parks’ standards